December 20, 2022

Feathers in Our "CAPs"

By Anna Burish

Board member Anna Burish

Over the past year, I was part of the inaugural cohort of local advisors and Madison Community Foundation (MCF) to earn a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) credential through the American College of Financial Services.

As a longtime financial advisor with The Burish Group – UBS Financial Services Inc. and newer board member of MCF, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine my professional and civic lives while learning new skills and meeting others who help people achieve their financial and philanthropic goals.

The aim of the CAP program is to provide a common body of knowledge for donors, development professionals, tax planners, attorneys and wealth advisors so they can better integrate charitable planning into a donor’s or client’s overall financial, business and estate plans. Comprehensive planning takes a team, and together we can help people achieve a positive impact for themselves, their families and their communities.

The CAP program consists of three graduate-level courses with a curriculum that spans the art and science of philanthropic planning – from the values and experiences that motivate giving (the “why”) to the tools and the tax implications that make it possible and strategic (the “how”).

Each course lasted about three months and included online presentations, books, articles and videos. While the coursework was self-directed, our study group met monthly to discuss what we were learning, case studies and practical applications. Our discussions were enriched by the diverse perspectives of our group, which included business and estate attorneys, a trust officer, a nonprofit development professional and a wealth advisor. At the end of each of course, we had to pass a controlled test that was given through the American College of Financial Services.

My husband, Andy, and I are both first generation college grads and believe in giving back, especially while we are alive. The course work helped me have strategic conversations with Andy about our own personal philanthropy – the values that inspire our giving, how those align with our priorities, what we’d like to happen with our assets after our lifetimes and the legacy we hope to leave for our family and community.

Even after decades working as a wealth advisor, the CAP experience is helping me have deeper conversations with clients regarding philanthropy. Through the CAP credential, I have an expanded context for the role of giving for individuals and families, a better sense of how nonprofits fit into the picture, and greater familiarity with the breadth of tools available to help people achieve their goals. In my role I witness how including a philanthropic component in financial plans adds a level of meaning and purpose that clients really value.

I’m grateful to Madison Community Foundation for including me in their first CAP cohort, to The Burish Group for investing in my professional development and to my classmates for making the experience so enjoyable – I’ve gained personal insights, professional skills, and new colleagues and friends. We’re excited to send another Burish Group advisor through the experience in 2023 and to continue to help elevate awareness, knowledge and practices surrounding philanthropy in our community.

Anna Burish and Andy Burish are Financial Advisors with UBS Financial Services Inc. a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC in 8020 Excelsior Drive, Madison, WI. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of UBS Financial Services Inc.

Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor its employees (including its Financial Advisors) provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your legal counsel and/or your accountant or tax professional regarding the legal or tax implications of a particular suggestion, strategy or investment, including any estate planning strategies, before you invest or implement.

As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, UBS Financial Services Inc. offers investment advisory services in its capacity as an SEC-registered investment adviser and brokerage services in its capacity as an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Investment advisory services and brokerage services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate arrangements. It is important that you understand the ways in which we conduct business, and that you carefully read the agreements and disclosures that we provide to you about the products or services we offer. For more information, please review client relationship summary provided at, or ask your UBS Financial Advisor for a copy. Expiration:12/31/2023; Review Code: IS2207150

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